Independence Day in America, also known as Thanksgiving Day in Great Britain, brings on a whole new meaning this year in light of Brexit, the UK’s own recent declaration of independence. I do not really care to discuss history or politics, but I do want to draw one travel parallel between the two independence movements.
After the American colonists declared Independence from the British Crown, travel to Great Britain was no longer so simple (not that a month-long boat trip could ever be compared to a 3.5hr Concorde flight…but I digress). Even in the days before bio-metric passports, papers were required to travel and when your papers said “TRAITOR” (i.e. colonial) it was a sure way to be turned right around if you were lucky or be impressed (that is, forcibly drafted) into His Majesty’s military.
How will Brexit change the way we travel to the UK or the way Britons travel around the world? It is too early to tell, but for EU citizens traveling to Britain or Britons traveling to the EU, it will not be so easy, and that is lamentable. Every independence movement brings with it new hope but inevitably the loss of something. Perhaps Britons won’t be labeled with the “traitor” epitaph, but I doubt Rowan Atkinson will be asked to sing the EU anthem anytime soon.